Buying a farm is exciting, intimidating, and most often, a large expense. When making a decision as serious as this, it’s important to take a few things into consideration before buying the farm, rather than discovering any hidden costs after the fact. Below are five of the most important things you need to take into consideration before buying a farm.

Look into whether the farm comes with any equipment or fencing, and if there is a barn or any outbuildings on the property. It is really important to know what your investment will be once you buy the place, mainly whether you will need to take care of things like building a barn or fencing a pasture. If you have these already, they are assets to your property. If not, it will take additional time and money to build them.

Evaluate the Site
While you are in escrow, visit the farm a couple of times to evaluate it and all its ins and out to make sure it’s right for your farming purposes. Check out things like the farm’s sunlight exposure, whether it’s in any flood zones, or if it’s located in a high valley that may have its own microclimate. These are all important things to consider when thinking about your crop production and setting up your farm in an effective and lucrative manner.

Is It Close To A Market?
Take a drive before buying the property and examine how close it is to any local markets and major distribution channels. You may want to think twice about the property if you have to drive an extremely long way to get to the nearest local farmers market. One thing you can do is go around to some other farms in the area and see what their commute is like and any expert advice they can give you about the location and nearby markets.

Water Resources
Water is a very important resource to consider before you buy a farm. Water rights laws can be complex and you need to be sure you understand your rights and usage before making a decision. Read the water certificate, talk with the water master, and know what year your water rights date back to. Survey the area and make sure to ask if you are legally able to irrigate from any nearby ponds, creeks, or wells. Also, make sure to check your water drinking source for any contaminants and to see if treatment is necessary. The most important thing you can do as a land buyer is to understand the complexity of your local water law in full before purchasing your property.

Real Estate Agent
Find a real estate agent who has specific knowledge about farming and the important details that go into buying a farm such as water rights and soil types. A quality farm real estate agent will find out the important information to help guide you in your decision. Rural real estate can be tricky, so make sure you have a quality, and most importantly, thorough, real estate agent on your side when making an investment as important as this.